NWS: Revises forecast, snow, sleet and rain headed for Williamsburg

Staff Writer

Updated 4:15 p.m. Friday: The National Weather Service has maintained its forecasted amount of snowfall for Williamsburg this weekend, but now the federal agency has said the snow will be an icy mix with sleet and freezing rain.

Williamsburg could still see as much as two inches of snow, however, forecasters predict Williamsburg will see less than an inch between late Saturday and Monday, according to a National Weather Service at Wakefield news release. Meteorologists predict wind gusts of 20 to 25 mph.

There’s still uncertainty about the track of the storm, especially for areas along the snow to rain transition line, such as Williamsburg, the release said.

The storm is expected to arrive around 8 p.m. on Saturday evening, according to the release.

Previous forecasts of ice accumulation have been scaled back to none at all for Williamsburg, the release said.

Updated 9:38 a.m. Friday: The National Weather Service has decreased the forecasted amount of snow expected to fall on Williamsburg this weekend.

Williamsburg could still see as much as three inches of snow, however, forecasters predict Williamsburg will see less than an inch between late Saturday and Monday, according to a National Weather Service at Wakefield news release.

The forecast now calls for snow that will mix with sleet and freezing rain, according to the release. Meteorologists predict wind gusts of 20 to 25 mph.

Previous forecasts of ice accumulation have been scaled back, the release said.

In a worst-case scenario, Williamsburg could see as much as three inches of snow while upper James City County could see four inches and West Point five inches, according to the release.

Forecasters warn the heavy and wet snow could lead to power outages due to downed powerlines, the release said.

Updated 3:57 p.m. Thursday: The National Weather Service has increased the forecasted amount of snow expected to fall on Williamsburg this weekend.

Williamsburg could now see as much as two inches of snow while West Point could see three inches of snow, according to a National Weather Service news release.

Additionally, there is now expected to be light ice accumulations across central Virginia and northern Hampton Roads. Williamsburg is on the forecasted boundary line for ice accrual. Roads in northern James City County could see between 0 inches and 0.10 inches of ice accumulation, according to the release.

Forecasters are still uncertain about the predictions as the storm has yet to develop over the southwestern United States, the release said.

The winter storm will be coupled with gusty winds of 20 to 25 mph, according to the release.

Original story: As a winter storm is set to develop in the southwestern United States, forecasters at the National Weather Service in Wakefield predict Greater Williamsburg could receive as much as an inch of heavy and wet snow through Monday.

Forecasters predict sharp contrasts in snow amounts throughout the region with some areas receiving little to no snowfall and other areas receiving as much as three inches, according to the National Weather Service.

Snowfall will depend on which track the storm takes, according to National Weather Service at Wakefield Meteorologist-in-Charge Jeff Orrock.

“A storm track over northeast North Carolina near Elizabeth City will push heavier snow north from Central Virginia (Richmond area) north across northern Virginia and the mountains,” Orrock wrote in an email. “A more southern storm track closer to Wilmington, N.C. will allow for more widespread heavy snow impacting a larger portion of the forecast area including portions of Hampton Roads.”

Depending on the storm track, Williamsburg could see as much as an inch or nothing at all from Saturday night into Sunday. As of Thursday morning, forecasters predict Williamsburg is most likely to see less than an inch.

The storm has not developed yet, so there’s still a fair bit of uncertainty in the forecasts, Orrock said.

That said, Orrock warned the chance for snowfall had only gotten higher.

“There is an increasing potential a significant winter storm will impact Central Virginia including the Peninsulas, Northern Neck, and perhaps portions of western Tidewater,” Orrock said.

In West Point, the National Weather Service has called for as much as two inches of snow, but that icy-mix of wet snow could make the roadways to and from the mill-town a mess.

In December, the Virginia Department of Transportation said its crews were ready for winter weather.

VDOT has 470 pieces of snow removal equipment prepared to clear roadways including plow trucks and salt spreaders, according to a VDOT news release. VDOT’s goal is to ensure every state-maintained road is passable within 48 hours of the end of a winter storm.

Driving in poor weather conditions safety tips

Slow down, but don’t drive so slowly that you endanger other drivers. Give yourself and other drivers more space to stop.

If you feel your tires slipping, ease off the gas pedal but don’t hit the brakes. Sudden changes in momentum can make it more difficult for you to be able to stop the vehicle.

Pack a winter survival kit in your car — sand to put under your tires for extra grip, water and a snack, a cloth to dry foggy windows, a flashlight, jumper cables and a tow rope if you have one.

Wear warm clothes — you might be comfortable inside your car while it’s on, but if you crash you might not be able to rely on your car’s heater.

Problems on the road?

Check the latest traffic conditions by calling 511, check at 511virginia.org or follow @511hamptonroads on Twitter.

To report road hazards, call VDOT’s help line at 1-800-367-7623.

Roberts can be reached at 757-604-1329, by email at srobertsjr@vagazette.com and on Twitter @SPRobertsJr.

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